Conquers the Universe The film starts on Earth. A deadly plague has been ravaging the planet, known as the Purple Death because it leaves a purple spot on the forehead of its victims. Ming the Merciless is suspected to be behind the plague, and Flash Gordon is sent with Dr. Alexis Zarkov and Dale Arden to the planet Mongo to find the cause of the plague, as well as a cure. Caused by Ming's spaceships dropping "Death Dust" into the Earth's atmosphere, they eventually find an antidote, Polarite, for it and Flash and Zarkov distribute it by the same method soon after the start of the series, while Dale Arden remains in the forest kingdom. Soon reunited with her, the trio continue to battle Ming, his cohorts, and his underlings. Ming's Captain Torch is the "spearpoint villain" of this serial, a type of character which the previous two did not have. He takes tactical command of the efforts to stop them. Before they leave, they destroy Ming by locking him in a tower and crashing a rocket ship loaded with Solarite into it. Prince Barin takes his rightful place as ruler of Mongo. In his rage, Ming said, similar to King Louis XIV of France, "I am the universe!" for nearly his last words. And so, with a simple metaphor, Flash Gordon is said by Zarkov at the end of the series to have conquered the universe.